My mother died of a primary brain tumor in April of 2004. Recently, I found a number of things I wrote in the year before her death.
The story below is dated 18 March, 2004.
John called tonight to say that Mom was going home from the hospital tomorrow but was “not very communicative.” She had a transfusion or something because her red cell count was really low. He sounded tired and on the verge of tears, but managed to relate this story.
He leaves the room for a minute to get coffee and comes back to find the room full of doctors and residents. Apparently she was due to take a pill and a nurse gave her two pills and some water to swallow them with. John says she hates to take pills these days and she made a face at them and would not take the pills. In John’s brief absence, it was decided that she would not take the pills because she could not swallow them, and the speech pathologist was called. After a thorough examination and palpation of her neck and mouth, which John walks in on, they decide to see if she can swallow some Jello. They put it in her mouth and she makes another face and doesn’t swallow. John is by this point disgusted with them, because she won’t swallow it because she hates Jello. He then yells at all of the doctors in the room, calling them a bunch of idiots, among other things, and tells them to get out. The most senior of these medical magicians tells John that they fear she can’t swallow, so John says “You need to give her something she likes. Can she have a piece of orange?” The doctor agrees, whereupon John produces a knife from his pocket, which he opens and hands to the doctor. The doctor is probably so frightened that he goes directly to the oranges (in a basket on a table), and John yells at him about preparing food without washing his hands. So John takes the knife back, cuts her a piece of orange, which Mom chews and swallows.
I think I know why they are letting him take her home.